The latest NFC West chat flew by. Better post highlights before they become outdated. Full transcript here. New thoughts at the bottom.
Mike Sando: I'm not ruling out the 49ers. Remember when the generic "we" questioned their ability to close the deal with Jim Harbaugh? They got it done. I've been saying recently that signing Asomugha would make sense for the 49ers because they need help at the position and they're trying to generate goodwill for a new stadium. Making a bold play for the top free agent would relay, again, just how serious the 49ers are about getting things right. Jed York grew up around the 49ers when his uncle routinely spent for players such as Deion Sanders. I realize the 49rs want to take a long-term view, and they do not want to overspend in free agency as a rule, but this one would make some sense. I give the 49ers a chance. Chris Carr of the Ravens was a lower-profile cornerback I mentioned early in the week. He and 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio were together with the Ravens.
Matt from Minneapolis counts himself as a Vikings fan and a fan of Sidney Rice, but he thinks Seattle is paying too much for a player with one strong season and microfracture hip surgery in his recent past.
Mike Sando: Yeah, I'm with you on the price tag being high and this being a high risk-reward gamble. It's the price a team has to pay when trying to make up for past draft mistakes. Rice is so spectacular at his best, so it's easy to overlook the fact that he has really only produced for one season. Also, the Seahawks aren't exactly set up at quarterback in a manner allowing them to maximize their investments at receiver. I think this was a good gamble for Seattle given how much cap room the team has, and how young Rice remains, but your feelings are justified too.
Aaron from Phoenix wonders why the Cardinals haven't been more aggressive given how much salary-cap space they have this offseason. He likes adding guard Daryn Colledge, but he questions whether the team can protect its next quarterback, likely Kevin Kolb.
Mike Sando: The Cardinals need to focus on some of their own guys: Lyle Sendlein, for one. What position would you like to see them address right away? It all hinges on what happens at quarterback. They'll likely re-sign Sendlein and/or Deuce Lutui. Daryn Colledge further solidifies that group, should the other guys come back. Defensively, much hinges on Dan Williams' continued development, Calais Campbell's ability to build on a strong finish to last season, Darnell Dockett's return to health, Adrian Wilson bouncing back following surgery, Patrick Peterson developing quickly, O'Brien Schofield emerging now that his knee has had time to heal more fully. I think they could use help at linebacker, but how quickly is that market moving right now?
Michael from El Centro, Calif., asked about the Rams' free-agent options at running back, and whether Seahawks free-agent defensive tackle Brandon Mebane might cost more than the team wants to spend.
Mike Sando: Jim Thomas points to Snelling as the top choice and Harrison next. Sproles would be costlier. And I do think Mebane will be a little pricier than the Rams want to go for him. Mebane should have the most value in Seattle, I would think. The Seahawks did not draft a defensive tackle this year (Pep Levingston projects at defensive end). They know Mebane better than other teams know him. I'm not sure how serious the Rams were about Sidney Rice, but pulling Mebane away from Seattle after the Seahawks got Rice would help their cause within the division. Mebane does everything pretty well. He would give the Rams a highly promising front four while improving their run defense, which is a priority this offseason (Quintin Mikell's addition shows as much).
Sounds like the Cardinals and Philadelphia Eagles are in the home stretch on the Kolb front. ESPN's John Clayton will have details soon. We've been waiting on this one for a while. We're still expecting Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to become part of this package. This move should satisfy Cardinals' fans demands for movement of some kind. Kolb isn't a sure bet, of course, so there will be questions and criticism. But at least the Cardinals have fresh direction at a position that doomed them to failure last season.